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Two-Thirds of High Schoolers Want Only In-Person Learning

THE Journal - 9 Abril, 2021 - 22:27
A new survey has found that a one in three high schoolers (33%) would like to keep online learning as an ingredient in their education. The remaining 67% – almost all of whom shifted to virtual education to some degree amid the pandemic – prefer learning completely in-person, while 29 percent favored a hybrid arrangement with up to half of their time in a virtual learning environment. Four percent said they would be happy learning virtually full time or much of the time.

Colorado Latest State to Adopt Khan's Schoolhouse.world for Free Tutoring

THE Journal - 9 Abril, 2021 - 22:23
Small groups of Colorado students can be paired up with tutors online through a new agreement struck between two education nonprofits. The program is being undertaken by Denver-based Colorado Education Initiative (CEI) and Schoolhouse.world, an organization launched last year by Khan Academy Founder Sal Khan and others.

Renaissance Adds Early Literacy Web App

THE Journal - 9 Abril, 2021 - 22:19
Education technology company Renaissance has acquired Lalilo, an early literacy company that was started in Paris in 2016 by three graduates of École Polytechnique with a goal of ending illiteracy. Terms of the deal were not made public.

Intel Supporting High School Esports

THE Journal - 9 Abril, 2021 - 22:15
Intel will be supporting esports in high schools. The chipmaker has signed on as a sponsor with Generation Esports (GenE), a company that runs a competitive high school league, providing prizes, "loot crates" and promotion for the events. Tournament play will culminate in the $50,000 "Intel Winners Circle Tournament" this summer.

Forget about Standardized Testing This Fall, Parents Say

THE Journal - 9 Abril, 2021 - 21:52
Parents overwhelmingly opposed going ahead with standardized testing this spring, according to a survey done by a parent advocates group.

Tutoring Program Adds Specialized Texts for Dyslexic Readers

THE Journal - 9 Abril, 2021 - 21:44
New Century Education Foundation is embedding lessons into its adaptive, online tutoring system, to address the needs of dyslexic students of any age. New Century, a nonprofit that focuses on helping teachers and parents improve the learning of students with specific needs, is working with Noah Text to add its stories into the organization's "Intelligent Tutoring System."

New CT Leadership Summit: IT Security in the New Normal

Campus Technology - 9 Abril, 2021 - 21:37
Every college and university must redouble its focus on IT security in these unprecedented times. In this one-day event, education and IT leaders will share their insights, best practices and predictions for security and privacy in the post-pandemic era.

Discovery Ed and Partners Launch 3 Free Virtual Field Trips

THE Journal - 9 Abril, 2021 - 21:00
Identity and belonging, the truth about vaping and the potential of nuclear science are the topics of three free "virtual" fieldtrips that have been introduced by Discovery Education working with various partners.

Students Complain: Too Much (Busy) Work in Online Classes

Campus Technology - 9 Abril, 2021 - 19:40
Almost three in five students (59 percent) in a recent Wiley survey complained that they are doing more assignments online than they ever did in their in-person classes, and nearly as many (55 percent) protested that much of it felt like "busy work."

Connecting the Dots: Dr. Barbara Oakley on the Science of How We Learn

OLDaily - 9 Abril, 2021 - 18:37
Apr 09, 2021

There's a lot to like in this interview and I certainly think Barbara Oakley has a handle on the subject. At times, though, I find it hard to tease out what she means when she blends cognitive psychology and neuroscience. The conversation flows in and out of metaphors quite smoothly (not a bad thing!) When she says, for example, "Your working memory can reach in and gather sets of neural links, holding them as you’re manipulating information to solve a problem," this can't be a literal description, but it's not clear what she means. Still, the distinction she draws between declarative and procedural knowledge is quite useful, as is the concept of "drill and chill", and as is the declaration that "a little effort to improve students’ abilities to learn has a significant impact."

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Proctorio Is Using Racist Algorithms to Detect Faces

OLDaily - 9 Abril, 2021 - 18:37
Todd Feathers, Motherboard, Vice, Apr 09, 2021

Given what we know of contemporary AI, this should come as a surprise to no one, but it's important to actually do the research and generate the data. Here's the gist: "A student researcher has reverse-engineered the controversial exam software - and discovered a tool infamous for failing to recognize non-white faces." Akash Satheesan published his findings in a series of blog posts. Again, none of this is news. "Black students have described how frustrating and anxiety-inducing Proctorio’s poor facial detection system is."

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Elon Musk’s Neuralink says this monkey is playing Pong with its mind

OLDaily - 9 Abril, 2021 - 18:37
Elizabeth Lopatto, The Verge, Apr 09, 2021

As Elizabeth Lopatto correctly points out, what's new about this announcement is the way it was announced. "This style of scientific release is unusual; ordinarily, videos like this are supplementary material to peer-reviewed papers published in scientific journals. Those papers contain data that can be checked by other scientists." She provides examples where similar work has been done in the past. In fact, I would refer readers to this comprehensive Wikipedia article on Brain–computer interface (BCI). It points us to the OpenBCI project, which lets people do their own BCI experimentation; software is here on GitHub, though the hardware has a cost. If you have a smartphone, though, you can use audio input as a receiver and lower the cost dramatically. So the future of BCI is easy to predict: open source systems leading the way, followed by commercial ventures that leverage their marketing and connections to create a product line.

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Report: Plagiarism Rates Changed When Instruction Moved Online

Campus Technology - 9 Abril, 2021 - 18:24
Plagiarism among students in high school and college jumped by 10 percentage points after the pandemic, when classes went online — an increase in the average rate of copying in student work from 35 percent to 45 percent, according to an analysis undertaken by Copyleaks.

Report: Students Plagiarized More When Instruction Moved Online

THE Journal - 9 Abril, 2021 - 17:58
Plagiarism among students jumped by 10 percentage points after the pandemic, when classes went online — an increase in the average rate of copying in student work from 35 percent to 45 percent, according to an analysis undertaken by Copyleaks.

We’re Beating Systems Change to Death

OLDaily - 9 Abril, 2021 - 06:37
Kevin Starr, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Apr 09, 2021

This article begins with a good criticism of systems change, then recommends an alternative approach that essentially amounts to the same thing. Oh, but the difference is explained by saying "the critical difference is that it is emergent." I agree that the best (and only) way to change society is through emergent change, that is, where the change is driven by the people, not the leaders. But in this article, 'emergent' means "driven by scale-obsessed doer organizations." No. Take education, for example. So many reformers feel we can effect change by redesigning educational systems (and if followed the advice in this article, administrators, rather than funders, would be driving change). But education changes only if people as individuals decide to learn differently. Right now (as suggested by Chomsky here) people still consent to the existing model of education. It's when that consent changes - and not until - that education changes.

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China to tighten grip on edtech industry and online learning

OLDaily - 9 Abril, 2021 - 06:37
Callan Quinn, The PIE News, Apr 09, 2021

I find that the title of this article is a dramatic overstatement of what's actually contained in the content. There, we read that the government is recommending that departments "limit the times at which primary and secondary school students take part in online learning to ensure they are getting enough sleep." We also read of proposals "for greater regulation and management of private online tutoring in terms of both content and consumer rights." None of this would raise too many eyebrows here, and given that "cram schools, exam preparation classes – and nowadays online classes – are considered an essential purchase for many Chinese families" this sort of regulation seems all the more important.

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HyFlex Resources

OLDaily - 9 Abril, 2021 - 06:37
Julie Johnson, pearltrees, Apr 09, 2021

'HyFlex' is one of those concepts that was developed in a hurry in response to the need to adapt teaching and learning during the pandemic. It's a bit like what we used to call 'blended learning' in that it incorporates both online and in-person activities (sometimes, unfortunately, at the same time). Anyhow, there isn't really a huge body of literature on the concept yet, but Julie Johnson has collected a good 70 resources on the topic in this pearltrees document.

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Igniting Change: Final Report and Recommendations

OLDaily - 9 Abril, 2021 - 06:37
Malinda S. Smith, et.al., Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Apr 09, 2021

I would be among the first to acknowledge that the issues raised around equity and social justice in this report (192 page PDF) are important, but seeing the site flagged by my security software for ad tracking reminds me that these are not the only issues on the table. And the document as a whole reads as through it was written from a single point of view, which I think is a problem. For example, virtually no one outside academia - or even outside the social sciences and humanities - seems to have been consulted. To be clear: I want the authors to be successful, but it's not clear how they would define (or even recognize) success. The definitions offered at the top of things like 'diversity' and 'inclusion' are muddled and jargon-filled, while the list of recommendations seems more like a grab-bag than a coherent plan. Inclusive web design, for example, is important, and worth mentioning, but this document tries (half-heartedly) to tell us what it is and how to do it (with reference to a 13-year old W3C document instead of something from 2021).

See also the Federation's response and action plan as well as its blog (well worth reading, sadly no RSS). There's also a Charter on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Decolonization in the Social  Sciences and Humanities that uses much of the same language found in the report itself. Image: Gorodenkoff (Estonia), the original of the image used on the report, from iStock images (Getty Images).

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Being in a big factory, why don't I speak human words?

OLDaily - 9 Abril, 2021 - 06:37
Tang Yahua, Deep Burn, Apr 09, 2021

This is an automated translation (original in Chinese here) of an article describing the rise of specialized jargon in the Chinese internet community. The authors in Protocol give some examples: "Some jargon is industry-specific: 'user perception' (用户感知), 'closed-link loop' (链路闭环), 'bottom-level logic' (底层逻辑) and 'top-level thinking' (顶层思考). Others are specific to a tech company: 325, for example, means 'needs improvement' within Alibaba" (Actually, in the article it says '325' means "3.25, which means it is judged as having no potential, no year-end bonus, and may be dissuaded"). So there's a bit of jargon in Protocol as well, and no doubt, some ambiguity introduced by the translation. Still, it's a great fun read and no doubt describes a common feeling experienced on both sides of the world.

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AI-enabled Adaptive Learning Systems: A Systematic Mapping of the Literature

OLDaily - 9 Abril, 2021 - 06:37
Tumaini Kabudi, Ilias Pappas, Dag Håkon Olsen, Computers and Education: Artificial Intelligence, Apr 09, 2021

A lot of this paper is dedicated to the usual description of how the 147 papers being surveyed were selected and classified, but there is some interesting discussion in what follows, including a section (4.2) on problems and AI-enabled learning interventions. Problems addressed include "difficulty sharing learning resources, the high redundancy of learning materials, learning isolation and inappropriate information load" as well as "high levels of demotivation, passive attitudes, boredom, poor engagement and frustration", but problems not addressed by AI interventions include "the use of outdated and highly complex models" as well as "personalisation issues, designing and assessing adaptive courses, high instructor workload" and more. And there's more to be done to actually make AI work. "Users do not understand how to extensively use such systems. At the same time, such systems—when implemented—have not actually overcome the complex challenges faced by students."

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